RE: Leslie Van Houten CDC#-W13378 Parole
Dear Governor Newsom,
My name is Anthony DiMaria, nephew of Jay Sebring who was killed August 8, 1969 at the hands of the Manson clan.
On behalf of all the victims families, I ask that you determine Manson “family” Leslie Van Houten CDC#- W13378 unsuitable for parole for reasons illustrated below.
As Manson “family” killer Leslie Van Houten conspired, targeted, held hostage, butchered, mutilated and terrorized society collectively with her partners in crime- so too our families suffer collective pain and loss resulting from her unspeakable and wanton actions.
I appreciate the opportunity to address statements made at inmate Van Houten’s latest hearing (1/30/2019) regarding minimization, In Re Lawrence, dangerousness to society and suitability.
Ms. Van Houten and her attorney Richard Pfeiffer claim responsibility for her offences yet continually minimize her involvement and role in these crimes blaming cult influence and Manson control. The attorney states, “Without Manson, none of these murders would have happened”(p.122 line 20) and describes the petitioner as “one of the lower players in the Manson cult”(p124 ll. 6-7).
This was no cult. It was a very violent crime organization. In the months leading to Ms. Van Houten’s murders on August 10, 1969 Leslie Van Houten and her accomplices committed extensive crimes involving:
credit card fraud
grand auto theft
the torture murder of Gary Hinman
the drug deal burn of Bernard Crowe
the attempted murder of Mr. Crowe after he was shot in the chest
August 8 – the murders of six individuals on Cielo Drive.
To reiterate, this is no “cult”. Leslie Van Houten is no “lower player”. She is a prime criminal and sadistic killer in the Manson family.
Yet in her own words, “I don’t minimize. I feel like if I minimized I would find easy ways to live with the guilt of WHAT HAPPENED because I’m passing the buck onto somebody else so my conscience doesn’t have to deal with it. But that’s who I am and it’s not what I do with my life. Knowing him has never eased the shame and how I attempt to make right WHAT HAPPENED.”(p. 87 ll. 6-13).
WHAT HAPPENED is a helluva way to describe these crimes. At a past hearing on April 14, 2016 the inmate said “I hope you’re not understanding that I know it’s my responsibility that I allowed this to HAPPEN to ME.”(p.65 ll. 22-24)
-Her descriptions as passive participant is a consistent pattern, hearing after hearing, revealing a disconnect and minimization of her actions…even after decades of reflection and rehabilitation.
IN RE LAWRENCE
At the last hearing, Richard Pfeiffer posited “Since Lawrence, there’s been not one single published opinion that has described a crime that is sufficiently bad to deny parole.”(p.122 ll. 14-16)
I submit to you Mr. Governor, that the severe and egregious nature of Leslie Van Houten’s crimes is “sufficiently bad to deny parole.”
Leslie Van Houten committed the organized home invasion of a married couple. The victims were misled to believe it was only a home robbery, and restrained. Then, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were butchered with a bayonet, carving fork and a butcher knife. The spouses were forced to endure each other’s slaughter. As Leno LaBianca was stabbed repeatedly, Rosemary panicked and struggled. Upon Ms. Van Houten’s demand:
Inmate Van Houten: “I ran to the doorway of the bedroom and I called out ‘We can’t kill her’ and Tex came in.”
Commissioner Ground: ” Now when you said ‘we can’t kill her’, it’s not cause you’re having doubts. You’re basically are saying you need help.”
Inmate Van Houten: “Yes.” (p. 67 ll. 24-25, p. 68 ll. 1-2)
The 3 cohorts stabbed Rosemary LaBianca 41 times. Leno was still alive. After Rosemary was dead, the killers returned to Mr. LaBianca carving tools in hand stabbing him dozens of times finally plunging the instruments to the hilt in Mr. LaBianca’s thorax and abdomen.
WAR XX was carved on his stomach.
Messages in blood were splattered on the walls. Leslie ate from the victim’s refrigerator and adorned herself in Rosemary’s clothes.
Many months free of Manson “control”, Ms. Van Houten spit on the memory of her victims, taunted her victim’s families and terrorized society at large with her horrific behavior during the trial as she sang, giggled and performed for news cameras… for almost a year’s period of time.
Mr. Pfeiffer goes on, “If you’re going to use Ms. Van Houten’s crimes to try to get to this level (Lawrence) that nobody else has gotten to, you have to look at what she did and what her actions were…what Leslie Van Houten actually did.”(p.122 ll.21-25)
Governor Newsom, please look precisely at what Leslie Van Houten actually did.
DANGER TO SOCIETY
It is undeniable that the crimes of Leslie Van Houten and the Manson “family” have dealt profound historical and cultural impact even today. It’s never waned. I point to the endless “family” T Shirts, memorabilia for sale online, books, TV and film projects…LESLIE, MY NAME IS EVIL (2009), for example.
I echo Deputy District Attorney Donna Lebowitz’s statement at the last hearing, “Just recently before the last hearing in 2017, I drove into a commercial parking lot and I saw a man with a tattoo with Charles Manson up his arm. That is the kind of impact these crimes had upon society. You don’t have random people with tattoos of other random inmates on their arms. As the sentencing judge said, ‘This case is a special one. It will burn in the public consciousness for a long period of time.'”(p.121 ll. 17-25)
On May 30, 2003 16-year-old Jason Sweeny was killed by four teenagers, ages 15-17. The weapons used to massacre the young man were a hammer and hatchet.
During the trial, the teenaged killers testified listening to “Helter Skelter” over and over for several hours before committing the murder. “Helter Skelter”. The same words written in blood on a wall at the LaBianca crime scene.
3 of the 4 teenagers were sentenced to life without possibility of parole.
Mr. Pfeiffer shockingly suggests that the societal destruction of his client’s crimes occurred in a vacuum completely void of Charles Manson, “Charles Manson ended that Movement. Leslie Van Houten didn’t.”(p.124 ll.1-2)
Let there be no confusion- there would be no Manson mystique without the horrific behavior of Leslie Van Houten. The “family” killed and terrorized collectively and collectively they share culpability for the societal destruction pervasive today.
The current threat of Leslie Van Houten to society- direct and repercussive – is lethal and corrosive.
While Leslie Van Houten and her attorney maintain she has served her time and is a changed person- Leno and Rosemary La Bianca remain unchanged. Unparoled.
They will remain so for eternity. They are just as dead as you read this since the night Leslie Van Houten slaughtered them.
Governor Newsom, please consider parole for Leslie Van Houten- once you’ve paroled Rosemary and Leno LaBianca from their graves.
All great points from a victims point of view. Hope his statement has an impact and she gets a longer wait than one year to apply for parole for the nth time.
I did not expect Anthony DiMaria to make an impartial letter but a lot of it is describing Krenwinkel’s and Watson’s personal acts in these murders during his argument for Lawrence, of course it wouldn’t sell itself as much as it would if he only accounted Leslie’s participation on its own.
Pat and Tex were the most prolific killers at Labianca house, but Leslie did stab Rosemary 16 times . That is rage! I do know people who were in prison with her and they all said she was down to Earth and completely rehabilitated. Kreni is the one who scares the hell out of me.
ONLY in this last 2019 parole hearing did Leslie Van houten suddenly change the number of stab wounds she inflicted from 16 to 17. This is very important because the autopsy report said only 16 were caused after Rosemary LaBianca died. She now changed her story because it was argued that she was not taking responibility for Rosemary’s death if she only claimed to remember only 16 stab wounds (as if she ever counted). Anyone who actually believes after 50 years she suddenly remembered one more stab wound after 50 years is in denial. Her lawyer bragged after the hearing that the new Governor will have a much harder time overturning parole – which is proof he couched her to add one more stab wound to her memory. Why aren’t any of her defenders surprised or mentioning that her story now changed 50 years later?
Alan Where did she say this, what page? even if she did say this, that isn’t a very strong argument the governor can use because she changed the number of stab wounds from 16 to 17, the coroner reports stated it was between 14 to 16 which is what Leslie has got her answer from since she obviously didn’t count at the time.
If Newsom does not grant parole, the courts will . There is no legitimate reason to deny.
I totally understand where this man is coming from and I do agree with much of what he says. He’s very articulate and insightful and his family lost a great deal.
Colombo, he doesn’t care about her “perfect” behaviour since then or her eligibility by law.
That doesn’t mean I don’t get what you and Paul say from your position. You can look at it that way because you haven’t lost anything and are not personally involved.
Paul, one thing you said bothered me last time, you said ‘the little things” that incriminate Leslie. I would never call her participation “little.” I’m sure had she been asked to go along the first time she would have and if they had not been caught there would have been other times she would have gone. It’s the participation and intent that I judge, not the number of blows or murders committed.
PS nor would I call it a “stupid” crime. It was a horrible crime.
Cybele neither are you personally associated so don’t understand what value you think this has. The court or the governor cannot see it from the perspective of the family because that is not their job, they have to follow the law because you can’t leave it to the family to decide what goes, that’s the reality of it.
Cybele it’s still little details of crime nevertheless. That statement was about you pulling me up for “minimising” her crime because I wasn’t going to hold her responsible for her co-defendants actions and stating the facts, yet when you describe the crimes you only account the incriminating aspects.
Leslie really can’t win with the responsibility argument, it’s a catch 22. The family and the DA really try to press on this, probably their only valuable argument for this case. Leslie can only take responsibility for so much, this case involved so many others and she can’t take the blame for the others. If she took more responsibility for it, Manson might as well not even get a mention at this point.
but Paul, I do know first hand what a violent crime can do to a family thus I have always said my sympathies lie with the victims. I told that story on another thread which you obviously didn’t read. So yes, violent crime is personal to me.
You accuse me of only mentioning the incriminating aspects but at the same time why do you minimize them except to present another side. That’s all I’m doing too and to me the ones I mention cannot be swept under the table either.
I don’t believe you or other Leslie supporters have had a personal experience of that kind and I don’t think any of you are related or personally involved with LVH either is what I meant.
sorry I meant to add, whereas Mr. DiMaria Is personally involved so I understand his passion.
I can understand that Leslie was a part of the group that killed his incle. However, Leslie was not even present at the aTate house nor was she convicted of any of the Tate murders. I think Anthony is attention seeking much like Debra Tate, hanging on the coat tails of their deceased relatives. I can give Debra a littl more allowance than Anthony who did not know his Uncle. I say Leslie has more than paid for her crimes, and should not have Tate murders attached to whether or not she is released on parole.
Cybele you can’t say whether any of us supporters have not had any experience like this and even so doesn’t change anything. I’ve said it before you can’t justify corruption through emotional manipulation because your the system is there for a reason.
I only started pulling you up for it when you accused me of “mitigating” even though you did the same thing just on the other side of the debate from the start.
Neither of us are involved in that case personally so neither of us are emotionally involved in this case so we can see it from a fair perspective, I don’t expect the families too. You can’t try to shrug off our argument because we haven’t had “personal experience of that kind”
corruption? why is it corruption if there is “according to California law” a governor who is allowed to overturn parole hearings based on his own findings etc?. What is a “fair” perspective? The law isn’t always fair it seems and depends on which side of the fence you are looking.
Anyway, as much as I enjoy discussing this with you and others Paul I’m all opinionated out on this one lol. I know there are other causes out there involving justice for people who didn’t participate in grisly murders so without rancor I’m going to bow out and let the cards fall where they may on this one and hope all will turn out for the best.
The family are trying to put pressure on the governor by getting signatures from people online, a lot of whom don’t even know this crime too well or even Leslie’s personnel assortation or participation in these murders. The governor has made a catch-22 in his reasons for denial of her last two parole hearings. It doesn’t matter what side of the fence you are on, the fact is that Leslie has ticked off all her parole requirements, so she has the right to parole and the board agrees. I’ll say it one for time, the law is there to remove any of this moral tension.
I’m with you, Cybele. I’m sick of arguing with these individuals. I hope LVH doesn’t get released, but I have a feeling this time around she’s going to walk…..as nauseating as that is…
I guess I am one of these individuals….posted something yesterday that is not showing up.
Perfect record in prison, received an education, upstanding prisoner helping people. Please!!! If I was a prisoner with guards surrounding me, yes, I’d be perfect too. I have nothing to do, no responsibilities in life, we all could get a great education. All I have to do is as I’m told in prison and all is well.
Good for her, glad she has straightened her life out, took her almost 50 years…help other inmates with your story and experiences, but they shouldn’t get out.
Gavin Newsom is ending the death penalty in California. Leslie and Bobby will be released. This is a similar situation in early 70’s when the DP was halted and all the inmates were transferred to other prisons.
This murderess will most likely be released this time and there is nothing anybody can do about it, as sad as that is, but she’ll never be able to undo what she did. She can blame Manson, the abortion, her parents divorce, etc on her ability to do what she did, but NOTHING can undo it. She can have as many followers as she wants, but she’ll still be a murderess. I’m afraid the authorities have run out of reasons to keep her in custody. Anthony DiMaria was probably chosen to make a statement, because he articulates the horror quite vividly in his letters. Attention seeking? Fuck no! Those family members would much rather have their relatives around than be in some stuffy room with a bunch of bureaucrats and the actual murderer of their loved ones every few years. Sure, Anthony didn’t meet his uncle, but he grew up seeing how heartbroken his mother was over the loss. He was chosen to be an advocate on behalf of the LaBianca family. Why be pissed at him?
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